Seeking the Perfect CV Keyboard

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

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boothnavy
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Post by boothnavy » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:44 pm

Any Akai Max (25, 49, 61), without a doubt, especially for large format/5U/MU. 1/4" cv/gate outputs, good feeling keys, can be used as a midi to cv converter, too.
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Post by DSC » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:26 am

I wanted a dedicated keyboard for a single voice mono portable eurorack case and finally came across a broken Korg MS-10 that I was able to convert using the MFOS keyboard kit, found here:
http://musicfromouterspace.com/index.ph ... 3&VPH=1344

Easy kit to get your head around and you can still buy the pcb too. You can modify almost any keyboard with this concept! Ray was able to give me pointers before his unfortunate early passing. Miss him greatly!

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sansnom
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Post by sansnom » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:45 pm

Does anyone use the Keystep?

The Sputnik Modular keyboard looks pretty nice too.

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Neo
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Post by Neo » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:56 am

Love the Keystep. Would be nice if there was one with an extra octave or two, and I wish there was an octaves switch for the arp, and a dedicated velocity output would be nice. But apart from that it's awesome. Good things happen when I patch it into my modular.
sansnom wrote:Does anyone use the Keystep?

The Sputnik Modular keyboard looks pretty nice too.

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Rex Coil 7
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Post by Rex Coil 7 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:43 pm

I started out with the first keyboard controller that DOT COM originally offered. All was well enough (features, etc...) but the action did not have the feel I prefer. As if the key return springs were too light ... or something. It was as if the keys didn't offer enough tactile .... uhm .... dunno ... "push-back" ... or something along those lines. This particular quality became more obvious during faster, more articulate scales or runs.

I moved on, parting ways with it early on (while it was still in super great condition and worthy of new owners). Meanwhile I made do with a less well made controller, waiting (hoping?) for an affordable high quality 61 key controller to become available.

So here we are, 2017, and Roger Arrick at Synthesizers.com has been offering a totally excellent answer to the calls of folks like myself for a well thought out, well excecuted, well featured, high quality kybd controller that is sporting NO extra tinkly blinkly lights or gimmicky "ooh .. ahh!" BS. Just the basics, done very well indeed. True to modular doctrine, things such as wheels, joysticks, pushy buttons, twisty knobs, and blinky lights are left to the end user to decide what is needed and may be added very easily. Or not.

The keybed itself is an excellent FATAR unit (a specific model I am quite familiar with) that is direct kin to keybeds found in my favorite past synths (Kurzweil). So while I have not actually laid hands on the latest DOT COM keyboards, I am confident that the feel and tactile pleasure I prefer is a given, since I've already owned a few that were OEM keybeds in other makes.

I have some financial obligations that take priority over new keyboard contrllers at present, but the new 61 key controller is "first" on my list of wants. However ... Needs before wants.

Saving those vacuum cleaner nickles!

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witchbutter
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Post by witchbutter » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:04 pm

I know they're priced really high, but I really love the design of the new Waldorf KB37, 107HP and basically all the i/o you need to make an interesting voice.

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bradpickapiper
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Post by bradpickapiper » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:27 am

are there no basic 25-key options out there? normal keys or mini keys are fine. (the keith mcmillen one doesn't quite cut it for me)

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J3RK
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Post by J3RK » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:29 pm

bradpickapiper wrote:are there no basic 25-key options out there? normal keys or mini keys are fine. (the keith mcmillen one doesn't quite cut it for me)
I'd echo boothnavy's suggestion of the Akais where something a bit more basic is concerned. The term is subjective of course (as they pack quite a few features in) but as far as something small that does the job, they're very good. I have the 49 Key version, and it's great. The only complaint I have is the 5V range. I'm guessing they went for a lower resolution DAC, and then limited the range from 0-5V to compensate. Still, it does very well in its context, and you can tweak the analog settings quite a bit.

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weekdayworrier
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Post by weekdayworrier » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:08 am

bradpickapiper wrote:are there no basic 25-key options out there? normal keys or mini keys are fine. (the keith mcmillen one doesn't quite cut it for me)
What about Keystep? It's 32 keys, not 25, but it is tiny and light, yet still pretty damn playable and powerful for the size and price. Plus...aftertouch! I'm using it live in three different projects right now.

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Post by AW198 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:44 am

witchbutter wrote:I know they're priced really high, but I really love the design of the new Waldorf KB37, 107HP and basically all the i/o you need to make an interesting voice.
One of these sold in mint condition on ebay recently for £460, which is significantly cheaper than the retail price, of you're still interested by any chance!

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Post by decklyn » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:02 pm

I built the mutable instruments midi -> CVpal and just use my minilogue.
https://mutable-instruments.net/archive/cvpal/manual/
It's about the simplest DIY build you can do.

I think the Analog4 have CV out - my friend uses that.
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Post by Synnic » Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:43 am

Arturia's Mark 2 versions of their Keylab controllers have 4 CV and Gate outs. They are under $500 dollars too. Looks very interesting.

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Rex Coil 7
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Post by Rex Coil 7 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:28 pm

Synnic wrote:Arturia's Mark 2 versions of their Keylab controllers have 4 CV and Gate outs. They are under $500 dollars too. Looks very interesting.
As long as Arturia fixed the aftertouch mechanism they've been using in Minibrutes and their previous Keylab controllers, these new Mk2 ones look a treat. The previous keybeds had terrible aftertouch mechanisms. They were more like on/off switches under each key rather than something controllable and useful through a sweeping AT signal.

And those new Arturia units are 1/5th the cost of what I made up .....

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morgulbee
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Post by morgulbee » Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:45 pm

One suggestion earlier in the thread for a "small" keyboard controller, is the SH-101, with the extra bonus that it includes an analog synth. The Behringer MS-101 clone of the SH-101 looks like it could serve that purpose as well. MIDI, USB, CV/gate in/out. Bigger and heavier and pricier than the Arturia Keystep, of course.

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knifey
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Post by knifey » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:16 pm

The Keystep lets you transpose while playing in Arpeggiator (and Sequencer) mode - Shift + Oct up, something like that. Did it this week.

Really, for that price it's a no brainer as a basic cv keyboard + midi-cv converter.

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Post by Pelsea » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:34 pm

I've been playing with a Seaboard Block by Roli. It's a weird little thing with 5 types of output from a conductive cloth surface that is sort of keyboardy in shape. It has MIDI over USB-c and bluetooth. It's too complex for my MIDI module (5 outputs per finger) but by routing it through a laptop I'm getting some interesting action. Maybe someone could collaborate with them to build an interface module.
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bichuelo
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Post by bichuelo » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:35 pm

Since there is no mention to portability, let me suggest Moog's Matriarch

It has four octaves, CV for velocity, aftertouch, gate, expression pedal, key position and can keep notes sustained with an external pedal

the arpeggiator can send all of this information as well, and both can be disconnected from the internal sound source

the keybed couldn't be better, and it's quite lightweight for its size

having said this, I would like to ask if the Keystep (which seems to be the best option for portability), quality is any good? Those keys seems so toylike, and based on my experience with the Akai LPK25 the sensitivity is almost non-existent. I wouldn't expect the aftertouch to be any good at that keysize either
Last edited by bichuelo on Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bichuelo
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Post by bichuelo » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:35 pm

double post :bang:

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Post by tardishead » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:24 am

I found an organ with 2 simple Pratt Read 5 octave keyboards
I made my first CV keyboard with Ray Wilsons 1v/oct keyboard PCB for mono and I am experimenting with a Polysix assigner PCB to make a monster polly CV keyboard
The feel of the old keyboards feels right.
I have never got on with modern midi keyboards - Fatar keypads included.
They just feel like a toy to me

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Lennywat
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Re: Seeking the Perfect CV Keyboard

Post by Lennywat » Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:16 am

Can u make a video tutorial on how u made this?

tardishead
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Re: Seeking the Perfect CV Keyboard

Post by tardishead » Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:32 am

talking to me?

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